UK-based department store Marks & Spencer opened a Beijing, China, flagship last week based on a boutique store concept, featuring an on-site bakery and a food hall selling 1,200 kinds of imported wines and food products. The retailer opened its first China store in 2008, and it has grown to 10 brick-and-mortar stores and a presence on Tmall.com and JD.com.
Marks & Spencer will pull back on plans made last year to open 250 new international stores by 2017 amid uncertainty in Russia and China, said Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, executive director of marketing and international. "The world has shifted, is a different place … The Syrian situation was very different from what it is today … Putin had not invaded Ukraine, and China was growing at close to 9%," he said.
Marks & Spencer launched a new e-commerce site this week that shifts control of the platform from Amazon to an in-house team. The site aims to reverse a nearly 10-year slide in the U.K. retailer's general merchandise market share and to boost the company's image as an international multichannel retailer.
Marks & Spencer will more than double the number of stores it operates in India with partner Reliance Retail to 80, CEO Marc Bolland said at the opening of the UK-based retailer's new 35,000-square-foot Mumbai store. The retailer opened its first store on the continent in 2001, partnered with Reliance Retail in 2008 and now operates 36 stores in major cities including Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata.
Marks & Spencer will launch a second international e-commerce website this spring that will make its products available to online shoppers in Ireland, where it operates 21 brick-and-mortar stores. The retailer launched its first international site in France last fall.